Blessings, Choice, daily practice, Gratitude, happiness, Inspiration, Uncategorized

My Happy Box

This is my Happiness Box. The plan is to take time on New Years day and remember the things that brought me joy the last year.  It has all kinds of events, moments, thoughts, big things, little things. Basically it is snapshot of the happiness in my life.

2016-09-03-08-07-05My friend is doing this also.  Same plan, filling her box with notes to look at New Years day.  But she has been in a dark place this last couple of months, and the Happiness Box was moved to the side. As dark times do, hers peaked and passed. And she was left to pick up the pieces and move ahead. But the box, still, was moved to the back.

Until one day we were doing something fun and I said “this goes in the Happiness Box. How is yours doing?” And she realized hers was forgotten. So she found it, and wrote a note. One note led to another. She remembered from the summer that brought her happiness. She started filling in the blanks, and life shifted a little bit for her. She started looking for happiness, and found it.

Today we were talking about this and I said “you forgot to be happy”. And that my friends, is the heart of the matter. How often do we forget to be happy?  We get wrapped up in the moment and forget that happiness is a choice too.

There are times in life where happiness is not to found. I have had those times, particularly around deaths. But other losses as well….divorce, foreclosure, job changes, empty nest, lost loves. There is a list of events that happened and I cannot pretend any of that goes in the Happiness Box.

But here is the thing, even within those dark moments there were small glimmers of happiness. Seeing a child laugh, a friends hug, a blue sky, a kind act and on and on. Those glimmers lead us home. Those glimmers are the “don’t you dare give up” support from the Universe. And we have to look for them. We have to court them. And then they come and then they stay.

I can visit the dark but I need to live in the light.  I need balance of seeing both in my life. Having some trouble, sadness or feeling lost teaches me to grow past that.  It teaches me to choose.  It makes me  remember and be grateful for the good in my life.

This is not a lollipop world where everything is wonderful. But having my Happiness Box grounds me to the virtues I want in my life.  It commits to seeking out that which gives me joy.  I physically name my joy and give gratitude.  It is a Spiritual Practice, and it is good.

So whether you make box, write in a journal, post it on social media or sing it to the world, celebrate everything that makes you happy. Because what you call into your life will appear and multiply.  So make that be your joys.

Be Happy

 

 

 

 

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Change, Daily Life, Death, Growth, Healing, Inspiration

Loving Mom and Letting Go

My dear friends’ mother is close to leaving this life.  They have moved her to hospice where she will spend her last days.  He is 500 miles away and I can be of little help. I can send loving thoughts and words, I can give him space to move though this time that is filled with fear and also amazing gifts. But I cannot do it for him, this is his path.

Still,  it is weighing on my mind.  It brings up the stuff around my mom passing all over again. Wounds I thought were dormant open up.  Memories I have placed aside reappear. Tears that have been shed, are shed again. Do we, must we, keep feeling the pain over and over?  How do you heal? Maybe you don’t .

I guess I  have thought of healing as one and done. . Like when you heal from a cold or illness you are well and you are done with that process.  But cuts leave scars, some illnesses leave weakness.  Here is a timely and perfect example.  7 years ago we had big fires in our area of CA. The smoke was bad and for me, toxic.  It made me sick. Then the airs cleared and time passed. I recovered and was fine.  But ever since then when there are fires and the air is smoky I am easily affected by it. It bothers me way more than it ever did before the toxic smoke.  I have a weakness now, left from the first fire.

And I guess I have a weakness for people dying. I have experience with it.  I know how it feels.  And right now the mom experience is knocking back at my door. But here is what I know, I am stronger now.  The gaping wound left when she passed is smaller.  And opening of it is gentler. There is a lighter touch to the wound.  I can feel the pain and still breathe. And for that healing, I am grateful.

Its been over 3 years now and the memories of my mom have faded from the harshness of her last couple of years.  Now I look at the mom that was happy, who was loving and had a future in front of her. But still, I have the lessons of how life can change and bring unhappiness and bitterness if you allow it, or invite it.  And mom did that, I need to be honest about that, so I do not fall into the traps that she did. If her life is to show me some me lessons, well, I need to see them.

Back to my friend.  I am so sorry your mama is leaving you. I am so sorry for your pain right now and your loss. I am sorry you have to see your father and your family lost and sad.  I am sorry that this moment is upon you.  But I am not sorry you have had a mother you grieve to lose.  I am not sorry you get to learn compassion. I am not sorry you will have growth. I am not sorry you will learn more about your amazing strength. I am not sorry you will experience the love and compassion of friends and family. I am not sorry you are living life and seeing complete cycle. I am not sorry, my dear, that life has graced you with this most important lesson of loving and letting go.  May Peace and Love cover your every breath.

Namaste

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Blessings, Daily Life, Growth, Healing, Humanity, kindness, Love

Crossing Paths on the Corner

I am so blessed.  I am simply so blessed.

This happened about a week ago and I can’t shake it from my mind. I was driving down the neighborhood and I see a young lady sitting on a corner. Not doing anything, I just happen to notice her. She kind of looked like a street person but she didn’t have any packs or anything with her. I go home. 5 hours later I am driving down that same street.  She is still sitting there.  Just sitting there on the sidewalk.

I can’t just drive by.  I turn around.  I approach her. I ask her some questions, is she okay, waiting for someone, can I get her anything, is she hungry, thirsty?  Anything, how can I help?  I can tell she is mentally out of balance.   There is no logical process to her thoughts.  I am pretty sure I was talking to multiple personalities.  There was a lot of “we” in her verbiage.  She was polite but definite in not wanting any help and “no police please”.  Over and over “no police please”. I offered her food, no thank you. Can I call someone, no thank you. Can I help you at all, no thank you.

What was I supposed to do?  We do not have good services in this town for mental health.  They closed all that down claiming money issues. Especially on a Saturday night.  If I called the police they were not going to take her to get help anywhere.  Either they would take her in and book her for the night, or just tell her to move along. No real help.  She wasn’t hurting anyone, she wasn’t in immediate danger.She has a right to live as she chooses.

Really, I have to walk away?  I did.  And then I drove away and cried.  Cried because I am so blessed, and she is so lost. Cried because she was someone’s child once upon a time. Cried because my child is safe and loved and blessed and I am grateful. Cried because I am helpless sometimes against the cruelties of the world. Cried because she is another me, and I could not reach her.  This, this is whats stabs my soul, there are humans lost out there.  They started out with the same promise as I did.  To live life and live it well. To love life, to feel joy, to feel safety, to feel loved. But somewhere along the line they became broken and lost.  And no one caught them when they fell.

broken

So I drive on, as she mirrors back to me, all that could have been. But I was lucky because my paths to get to where I am now have been twisted with lots of forks in the roads.  Only I know all the choices I could have made and didn’t.  Somehow Grace saved me.  Over and over, Grace saved me. And I am grateful. It is those of us that have cracks and stood on those edges that know how fragile life can be. How a couple of steps one way or the other can change everything.  No one caught my girl on the corner and she stepped too far.

I drove back by a couple of hours later and she was gone.  I hope to a place where there was some welcome. A kind voice and some protection.  She is haunting me now, making me look harder at myself and my life.  It was frustrating to not be able to fix it, even a little bit.  But I guess that would be about making myself feel better, less guilty.  Perhaps the lesson is that we are all human, we all walk our own paths. To  respect each other and help as we can along the way. And to be compassionate without overstepping boundaries. It is hard to keep that balance. Maybe my best advice for myself is to think how I want to be treated and act accordingly.

My young woman on the corner, you are in my prayers, sleep peaceful and safe tonight.

Namaste

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challenges, Choice, Daily Life, Gratitude, life, Love, Today

Just For Today

Oh my gosh today is beautiful. Just for today I am setting aside my complaints, my stresses, my sorrows. Just for today I am stepping into the moment. I hear the song of the birds and the call of the dove. I see the gentle breeze flicking the bamboo. I feel the freshness of the morning air and I know I am blessed. For today, I do not worry, I do not argue within my mind. For today I accept all of God’s blessings and claim them as mine.

This was my Facebook post this morning.  And then I thought why “just for today”?  Why not everyday?  Everyday feels big to me.  Forever?  Really?  Not worry, not stress, be in a place of calmness and peace…..forever?  Wow, all kinds of resistance comes up around that.  All kinds of monkey mind starts chattering.  But what about all the things that I call challenges?  Finances, relationships, health, those are the big 3.  I can’t just let that all go can I?

Well…..just for today I can. Because it is a beautiful day out there for me to enjoy.  Why should I miss that?  What if this is my last day?  And I missed it.  What a shame that would be. I am sitting here in my little apartment with the morning air and doves are cooing. And it is beautiful.  And the day is mine.  Mine to enjoy or worry away. Mine to see the blessings or the sorrows.  Mine to feel Universal love and support or stress and fear.  I choose Love.

I know it is close to impossible to live this every day.  I am not sitting in a secluded place where only love and peace touch my world.  I live in the real world.  It is messy, it can be stressful.  There is loss, change, worry. There are many interesting challenges.  And there are people everywhere showing me all kinds of mirrors.

But today I am looking at the mirrors that show me how blessed I am.  The big mirror of beauty, of love, of peace. Just for today I am going to breathe in the beauties of life.  And maybe tomorrow also.  Because the more I practice the more easy it is for me to slip into a state of grace and ease. Mainly I simply have to remember it is there and available all the time.

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.…….Dr. Seuss

Have a Beautiful Today

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challenges, Daily Life, daily practice, Gratitude, kindness, life

Kindness Matters………

Kindness, that is what is on my mind these days….

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
Plato

I have an event in my life right now that has made me more fragile than usual.  My grandmother passed away this week.  I can go into that more at a different time, right now I have been thinking about kindness and how everyone needs this.  I go out into my day and I am wounded.  I am sad,  I am feeling a loss, an important one. And 98% of the people I meet have no idea.  The people in line with me at the stores don’t know, the person I pass on my walk has no idea.  Many people in my church today had no reason to know.  At my work this only a handful of people knew.  Of course my friends know and are helping me.  They reach out, they are gentle with me, they are loving to me.  They understand I am little fragile right now.

But what about the others, the majority of people I interact with everyday. Well, what a blessing, most of them are kind. They smile and the smile reaches their eyes.  They greet me happily.  They wish me well.  They are nice to me. And they do not know I am broken inside. What I am thinking is that most of them are too.

Plato did say it “we are all fighting a battle”.  The women in line at the grocers, maybe she choose food instead of fuel.  The person walking past me, does their car run? Do they have one? That person that greeted me, are they well, is someone they love sick?  They child that is smiling, do they live in a loving home?

I could go on forever, you know what I am saying.  It is hard out there. Life is not just an easy slide to heaven.  There is work do be done here.  There are lessons to be learned here.  We have to break our own boundaries and our own barriers.  We have to love and lose and love again. We have to have sickness and then heal. We have to stand at the edge of disaster and feel the power in ourselves that comes from recovery.  All of us, everyone, has pain, frustration, loss, sadness and longing. All of us, everyone, needs to know we are loved.

And how can we show that to the world?  We can be kind. Yes, it is easy to be kind when you know there is a problem.  I am telling you right  now, there is always a problem. We just don’t know it. It doesn’t mean it is not real.  It doesn’t mean the problem does not deserve love or respect.  If we are not told or are not a witness,  does not the pain still exist?  Yes, we know it does.

So we can be kind.  We can assume that everyone we meet needs love, needs a smile, needs gentleness. Be kind, if nothing else, just be kind. Have a moment to say you exist, I acknowledge you.  I know you are fighting a battle somewhere, somehow, and I am fighting my own right along side you.  We don’t have to talk about it.  We don’t have to share or know everything.  We can just start by being here, available and human.  We can recognize that each person has a whole life and parts of it are hard.  And we can show kindness.

So right now i am little fragile, but mostly I am really grateful. And every time someone is kind that gratitude grows.  And it makes me want to be kind.  I want to smile at you. I want to share a kind word. I want you to know you are not alone. Whatever you are fighting, whatever your burden, we are in this together.  So the next time you have a chance, be kind.  It may be the best thing that happens to that person that day.  We never know where our gifts end up, but we do know that kindness ripples outward and spreads peace and love.

May kindness visit every day, many times……

kindness jewel

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Daily Life, family, Inspiration, Spirit, strength

My Grandma is Amazing

I am so inspired by my grandmother.  Today I watched something amazing.  A little background, my grandma will be 95 in June.  She has lived alone since my grandfather died 20 years ago.  She is tiny, shrunken down to 4’6″ now, maybe 100 pounds. She has always worked, as long as I can remember, She worked when my mom was a child.  Grandma has always held an outside job. She was never the traditional stay at home mom. Up until this last year she was still working, 3 days a week at the Senior Center. She is active in her church and her women’s group.  She has a ton of friends and more of a social life than I do.

But things have not been easy.  She is oldest of 6 siblings and they have all passed away now.  Many many of her friends have passed.  Her husband is gone, her daughter, her beloved son in law and so on. She has watched one person after another leave and she is still here. She has this amazing will.

And today I got to see it in action. Because now she is in a convalescent/rehabilitation hospital.  And she is fighting to get well enough to go home. She is not giving up.  This little tiny ball of fire will not give up.  There are medical things going on she cannot fix.  She has heart failure and water retention.  She is on oxygen.  And still she moves forward.  I watched her today on a walker go up and down the hall with her therapist. She wants to get better.  She is working hard at therapy, trying to prove she can be well enough to go home.  And if anyone can do this, grandma can. I am rooting for her.

And amazingly she is making progress.  They are working her off the oxygen, her swelling is there but better.  And her mind, oh my gosh, she is sharp. She sees everything, she knows everyone and their life stories now.  She is engaged in life, in the midst of struggle, in the midst of a place that is sad, that most people fade away in, she shines.  And I am blown away.  I have known her all my life, I should expect nothing less, but come on, she is 94. How do you find strength, energy and resolve at that point?

I asked her when she turned 89 what were her rules for a long life,  Here is what she told me.  Eat right, keep moving, be kind, but don’t take any malarkey. I love that.  I have it pinned up at my desk. I try to be kind, but I don’t take any malarkey.

So I have no room to complain.  I don’t get to say life is too hard, I don’t get to give up. I don’t get to check out, I don’t get to quit caring.  My life is easy.  I am blessed,  I bounce out of bed, jump in my truck, do a days work.  I am healthy, I can walk, I can think, I can see.  I get to go home at night. Maybe that is the biggest thing, I get to go home. So tomorrow when I am bitching about something, I am going to think of Lillian Maxine Hennigan in her walker working her way back home.  If you are a praying person send up one for my grandma. She is an amazing example of living life every minute you can.

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Change, Gratitude, Inspiration, Love, New Year, Relationships, Self, Soul, Spirit

Intentions, 2015 and Beyond

So I want to share my intentions for 2015 with you. I believe that stating this out loud to the world gives my intentions even more strength.  So this is an indulgent post, It is all about me.  But maybe something will come up for you that says I want that too.  Because you can have whatever you believe you can have.  And that is the key. The knowingness, the belief, that these things belong to you.  Whatever is yours will appear. So here are mine, for now: This or something better……..

2015 Intention 

In looking at my life I realize there are ways my life can be better, ways I can be happier and have a fuller life.  In recognizing that, I also recognize my role in manifesting these changes in my life.  I have prayed and treated around these ideas.  I am ready to acknowledge and set my intentions for 2015 and beyond.

I want a life that is full of love and community without limiting my need to recharge with time to myself.  I am a loving, caring person and I want that returned to me by those I come in contact with.  I accept nothing less than balance and equality in my relationships. I welcome friends, family and lovers into my life while still keeping my self respect.  I will no longer chase anyone or allow anyone to make me feel my life is secondary. My intention is to live lovingly, happily and fully with those who are likeminded.  Equally, my intention is to allow those I love to walk their own paths with my support, without any fear of loss of love from them.  My intention is to not cling so tightly, but to have mutually respectful and loving relationships.

My intention is to welcome financial abundance in my life.  I recognize that I have been willing to live with lack and I release the belief that this is natural in my life.  I know that the Universe has an never ending supply of whatever I need and I need money. I am now living with the intention that my finances will be multiplied in a way that will enhance my life and the lives of my community.  I see this, I believe this and I welcome this.

My intention is to  live in a healthy body.  This includes living at a healthy weight.  I no longer need to fill any lack in my life with food.  My intention is to wake each day in with a healthy mind and a healthy body.  I see myself growing healthier each day and as a result of clear minded thinking I will reach a healthy weight. I release any need to fill voids with food or drink. I accept and love my body as it is and I am willing for my body to grow healthier.  My intention is to move through my life with grace and ease no longer fighting a battle with my weight.

My intention is to welcome a loving committed relationship into my life.  My life will become enhanced by a singular love which will expand my life.  I release any fear around commitment or settling. I know the love coming into my life will only make my life better and more joyful.  I am ready for this, I no longer need to walk alone. I know a loving relationship is the next step in my growth and I welcome this.  This relationship will not take away from anything and I will not have to “give up” anything that is valuable or important in my life. I have an open honest heart and I welcome the same. My intention is to receive love and commitment in a way that multiplies my joys.  My intention is to say yes to Love.

2015 Treatment 

I know that there is one God, one Designer of the universe and of my life.  I know that God is in everything I do, every thought, every breath.  There is no part of me or my life where God is not.  And knowing this Truth, I know that my stated intentions are the word of God. I know each and every thought of mind and desire of my heart is supported by the Beloved.  And knowing this, I know my life is good.  I know my life will only grow, will only get better and is fully supported by the Universe. I am so grateful for this knowledge.  I am  grateful for light in me that works with God to co create my life.  And as I know this for myself, I know this for everyone.  Everyone is connected, everyone is loved, everyone is supported.  And feeling this deep connection I release my words, my thoughts, my desires into the Mind of God, knowing as I do, the work is already done.  And I let it be so, and so it is.

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